Why did ASX 200 lithium shares slide today?

ASX lithium stocks followed their US counterparts lower today.

Miner on his tablet next to a mine site.

Image source: Getty Images

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Key points

  • ASX 200 lithium shares finished lower on Thursday
  • Allkem, Pilbara, and Mineral Resources were among shares to slide 
  • News emerged that a Chinese lithium company plans to invest $1.7 billion in lithium projects in Argentina

ASX 200 lithium shares fell against the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) today.

Lithium explorers that finished in the red included:

  • Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) down 1.59%
  • Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) down 3.64%
  • Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) down 0.95%
  • Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN) down 3.57%

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) climbed 0.27% today.

Why did lithium shares have a tough run?

ASX 200 lithium shares appeared to fall after their counterparts in the United States dropped overnight.

Livent Corp (NYSE: LTHM) shares fell 2.12% on the New York Stock Exchange, while the share price of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE: SQM) slipped 4%. Albermarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) shares tumbled 4.13%.

News emerged that Chinese mining company Tibet Summit Resources plans to invest $1.7 billion developing two lithium projects in Argentina.

The two projects in the Salta province could produce 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes of lithium, Reuters reported.

Commenting on the news, Argentina's economy minister Sergio Massa said:

We want a mining industry that takes advantage of our resources and generates added value and employment.

Allkem and Livent are among lithium shares on the market also developing lithium projects in Argentina.

Meanwhile, global research group Wood Mackenzie has released an opinion piece predicting lithium prices to slide over the next decade.

Commenting on this outlook, Wood Mackenzie principal lithium analyst Allan Pederson said:

Going forward, we expect prices to enter a period of controlled decline, settling back to around US$20,000 per tonne by the end of the decade.

The lithium carbonate (99.5% battery grade) price is currently up 0.17% to US$42,344.82 on the Shanghai Metals Market.

Share price snapshot

Pilbara shares have soared nearly 89% in the last year, while Core Lithium shares have slipped 6%.

Allkem shares gained 23%, while Mineral Resources shares are 16% higher.

Motley Fool contributor Monica O'Shea has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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